Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Masahiko Komura suggested that his party will aim to strike a broad agreement on constitutional amendment with parties including two new opposition forces, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) and the Party of Hope.
Komura's comment, made during a speech in Tokyo on Oct. 27, came less than a week after the LDP-Komeito coalition scored a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election. In reference to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposal to add a clause providing for the existence of the Self-Defense Forces to the Constitution while retaining the first and second paragraphs of war-renouncing Article 9, Komura said, "We will aim to discuss the issue among the LDP, Komeito and Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), and if possible, with the Party of Hope and the CDP as well.
"Theoretically speaking, it would be right to delete the second paragraph (of Article 9), but then it would be difficult to obtain the approval of a majority in a referendum (over constitutional amendment)," Komura said.
The first paragraph of Japan's supreme law stipulates that "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes," and the second paragraph states: "In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."